Friday, June 22, 2012

Using Vocabulary to develop Young Writers! A system with minilessons to use all year!

I am so excited! I finally finished a project I've been working on for a long time. I have always seen the connections between the vocabulary built in 1st grade through arts integration, science and writing and have wanted a way to show the connections to the students as an anchor chart to keep coming back to for writing. For example, at the beginning of the year we work so much on sensory words  during our senses unit in science but by the time we add those in writing, the students seem to have forgotton the learning. Another example are shape words as we teach students how to draw at the very beginning of the year.
I've tried to make and keep multiple anchor charts but it was too much and looked too messy. So for awhile I've wanted to make a bulletin board that could be built all year as an anchor when sensory vocabulary or words great for writing were introduced. I decided to call them Sparkle Words for writing and this is the bulletin board I created. I have windows behind the board so I can never get a good picture. It just doesn't do the board justice... It really does look nice! lol! I don't know how to get a picture that's not grainy!

Now I can make vocabulary learning more permanent through the year and accessible for sudents to use when writing.
I uploaded this to TPT along with over 30 minilessons to teach this vocabulary. Many of the lessons even have the printables that students will need during the lesson. This is also aligned to the ELA common core standards.
The new common core standards ask that students use language to explain their thinking and justify their reasoning. They ask that students see the nuances in the meanings of words and that they are able to identify/ use sensory language. When looking at the standards, there is an emphasis for vocabulary development in 1st grade. Unfortunately, students are coming to school with a smaller vocabulary but expected to use a greater variety of adjectives and sensory language in their speech and writing with the new common core standards. As teachers, we need to ensure our students are exposed to language in order to expand their basic vocabulary before they will be able to use that language in writing. Through explicit vocabulary we can close gaps in our neediest students and expand the vocabulary of our strongest students while building writing skills at the same time.
 Here are a few pics of my preview. The download Vocabulary Mini lessons for Young Writers is 124 pages long!

Even if you don't have the space for the bulletin board, you can put the pages in page protectors in a binder for students to use. I really hope others can use this. I truly believe it is a great system to make all the vocabulary development in our classrooms cohesive. It can help students see the connections between subjects and the importance of building language to become better readers and writers. Not to mention the 30 ready mini lessons! If you're interested, check it out on TPT. Have a great weekend!


  1. Thanks post a nice article. Now i will practice in daily basis and developing my vocabulary.

  2. I love your vocab ideas! :)
    I am your newest follower and I am awarding you the One Lovely Blog Award. Head on over to my blog to pick it up. :)


    1. Thanks! My first award! I'm going now :)

  3. I was just over on TPT and saw your calendar pages . . . uh . . . to die for! They are in my cart! I am so following you my dear. Thanks for sharing your hard work.

    Kelley Dolling
    Teacher Idea Factory

  4. Thanks, Kelley! I was just on your blog ( so cute!) and am now your newest follower. Love all your movement ideas! I love to get the kids up and moving around too!

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